Welcome to the (R)evolution, a new series that connects you to the people, trends, and ideas defining the future of business, marketing, and media. Episode 6 features an interview with good friend Philip Kaplan otherwise known in the industry as Pud.
Philip earned worldwide success as the founder of the infamous F*ckedCompany.com that chronicled the flameout of Web 1.0 excess, one company at a time. Kaplan went on to start several ventures including AdBrite, the largest independent ad exchange.
While we discuss Philip's experiences as a successful entrepreneur, the discussion ultimately steers us towards in important milestone in the evolution of the social web...the rise of the social consumer. Kaplan's latest company starts the blur the line between social and commerce, connecting currency and transactions to experiences and connections. Blippy is a micro network where people "obsessively" write reviews about everything they buy. Blippy connects your existing e-commerce accounts such as iTunes, Netflix, Woot, eBay, among others to share purchases with friends in real-time not only in the Blippy stream, but across the social and interest graphs that define Facebook and Twitter.
Why would someone broadcast their purchases to the social Web?
I have a theory...
When a brand does its job right, it creates an emotional connection. The affinity it engenders contributes to who we are as individuals and how others perceive us. In the social web, sharing our purchases and experiences serve as social objects which are essentially catalysts for sparking conversations. At the center of this discussion is the product. Experiences, impressions, and perceptions cast bridges that link us together. As the conversation unfolds, the hub connects the product to individuals who not only respond, but also consume, where information directly or indirectly influences behavior and opinion. This form of subconscious empowerment builds confidence.
As social capital factors into the equation, these conversations represent touchpoints where positive experiences take the shape of endorsements and ultimately c0ntribute to the overall branding process.
In this interview we discuss a recent study that shows how brands rub off on self-perception and how services such as Blippy actually contribute to the cycle of social maturation. The Journal of Consumer Research published the study, "Got to Get You Into My Life: Do Brand Personalities Rub Off on Consumers?" which makes a strong case for establishing the intangible relationship a brand may have with its consumer.
Authors Deborah Roedder John and Ji Kyung Park of The University of Minnesota) set out to answer critical question, that is actually paramount in social media, "Why are brands such as Cartier, Harley-Davidson, and Nike so well-liked by consumers? One of the reasons is that they have appealing personalities."
As part their research, women were given bags to carry around a local mall for an hour. Several were given Victoria's Secret bags, while others toted plain pink shopping bags. The study surfaced an interesting connection. Those women who carried Victoria's Secret bags felt more feminine, glamorous, and good-looking. On the contrary, those with the pink shopping bags felt indifferent.
These studies represent a harbinger of the importance of personal relationships and how they're fostered in brand experiences. Businesses must bring their companies and products to life. As other studies show, social networking is incredibly emotional. As I wrote in a recent post, "Once More With Feeling," some experiments show that as we Tweet, our levels of oxytocin rise.
As brands become more social and in turn, as experiences are socialized, the ability to forge emotional connections is instrumental in cultivating community development, loyalty, and advocacy.
Everything starts with intentions. Brands must now define the pillars of character, mission, purpose, and persona in order to foster desired engagements and outcomes.
Andrew Landini, Producer
Adam Eckenfelder, Audio Tech/Re-Recording Mixing
Location: The Living Room Wine Bar, Redwood City
One: Empowered with Josh Bernoff
Two: Silicon Valley vs. The World with Sarah Lacy
Three: Rick Bakas of St. Supery Winery on Social Media, Wine and Community
Four: Charlene Li on Open Leadership
Five: Michael Fertik on Privacy and Social Networks